FEATURE: Rime of the Ancient Mariner
In the Room with the Little Eggs Collective
By Brianna McCarthy
Images by Jasmin Simmons
As the premiere of their new devised take on Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner at KXT approaches, I was lucky enough to be welcomed into their devising space to have a peek at where the Little Eggs Collective are at.
Following their award-winning success at the 2018 Sydney Fringe Festival with Pinocchio, The Eggs' unique style and flavour made the anticipation for what would be next the talk around town. Hearing earlier this year that an old favourite text was being taken on meant that my ticket was already sold. Known by many as the peak of S.T Coleridge’s poetic work, this epic is dark, wondrous and supernatural. With a modern reading it easily speaks to prevalent moral questions of environmentalism. After experiencing a small tester of what is to come in April, I can clearly see that The Eggs are enlivening these same qualities in a very energetic and embodied way.
The cast and crew were lovely to me. When I entered the room, the air was of care and generosity and they immediately greeted me warmly. I was asked questions about myself and invited to get sushi from the favourite spot like I was a new friend.
However, as soon as they began rehearsing, the energy of the room changed. Everyone sank into work and rehearsals with incredible focus and commitment. There was rigour in the casts' performance and passion in the crews' attentiveness. Together they waded through the still murky waters of devising and created some truly magical moments. The ten minutes of content that I saw flowed in and out of structured and loose moments, including some that were brand new. I quickly realised that their dedication and openness would beget impressive results.
“Imagine the power of nature is stirring up inside you and that’s what driving you to move.”
These words of Director, Julia Robertson, were in response to one particular scene, but I think they speak to the motivation of the show as a whole. I saw and heard the issue of pollution being intertwined with Coleridge’s original piece in a rhythmically powerful and visceral way. Each image developed more and more a building sense of magic. Some noteworthy traits of the show that I saw included a babbling bird with a kazoo for a mouth, a team of sailors singing gleefully their shanties of the sea, and several innovative approaches to movement in an ensemble.
Tickets went on sale recently and the Eggs are still in the process of devising and rehearsing. Considering that I only saw about ten percent of what’s to come, I am incredibly keen to track their process and see the final product. I’d like to give a giant thanks to everyone I spent time with for their generosity and inspiration. I wish them the absolute best.